I am sure you have heard about alkaline water and its list of potential health benefits.
Of course, one of these benefits is it can help acid reflux and more importantly LPR in our case.
It seems logical that drinking alkaline water can and will help with acid reflux by simply lowering the acidity of the stomach though for LPR it is a little more complicated than just that. Let me explain why.
Alkaline Water for LPR – Introduction
If you didn’t already know LPR is mostly caused by a thing called pepsin. Pepsin is basically a digestive enzyme that is made in the stomach and is used primarily to help digest proteins.
As you may imagine when you reflux acid up when you have LPR, pepsin also comes up with this acid and it is the main cause for LPR symptoms.
The thing with pepsin is that is once it enters the throat, nose and even ears it tries to digest the throat cells as it would any protein and this is what leads to symptoms in the first place.
The reason I must first explain this is because alkaline water can play an important role in neutralizing this pepsin. Let me explain further.
When pepsin enters the throat as I already mentioned it causes problems. The thing with pepsin is that even after all the bad effects it can cause in the throat it can lay dormant in the throat based on early research for up to 1-2 days’ time.
Why this matters is because of pepsins interaction with acidic foods and drinks. If you eat or drink something that is more acidic then the pepsin reactivates more.
Generally speaking, the more acidic the food or drink you take that passes over the throat – that reactivates the pepsin more. The graph below shows it more accurately.
As you can see food or drinks that have a pH of 8 don’t reactivate the pepsin at all, and this is where alkaline water comes in. Believe it or not, not only does alkaline water not reactivate the pepsin but it will neutralize pepsin in the throat! Which means it can’t be reactivated again.
So, when you drink alkaline water and if you have pepsin in your throat etc. like a typical LPR sufferer then it will be deactivated for good.
What it Really Means?
So, as I have explained the main benefit for someone with LPR is that the alkaline water deactivates the pepsin in the throat. Also, you get the alkalizing effect in the stomach which is also a benefit of alkaline water for acid reflux and for GERD.
So basically, yes it can help but it really won’t be of much use if you aren’t treating the root cause of actually stopping the acid and pepsin coming up. It can neutralize the pepsin but if you are still refluxing the pepsin its benefit will almost be negligible.
So, what I am recommending is treating the root cause and stopping the acid from coming up. How I recommend you do this is by following a controlled low acid diet schedule like the Wipeout Diet Plan and also taking Gaviscon Advance (UK version) you can read more about why Gaviscon Advance is the best Gaviscon.
If you are treating the root cause like that and the acid isn’t refluxing or to a lesser extent, then drinking the alkaline water will definitely be worthwhile to do.
What Alkaline Water Do I Choose?
The alkaline water you want to choose should have a pH level of at least 8 but ideally higher than that if you can find one.
There is a selection of options when it comes to alkaline water. From making your own alkaline water to buying bottled alkaline water from the source there a selection of options. Let me cover them in more detail now.
Of course, the best choice when it comes to alkaline water is water that is bottled and is alkaline. Simply just look for a water than has a pH of over 8. Higher is better and more alkaline. This is the best option but also the most expensive. This Essentia Water is a good example. For more on bottled water check our article – Can Bottled Water Cause Acid Reflux.
Believe it or not there are drops that you can add to your water that make it more alkaline. It is relatively simple – you just add a certain number of drops for an amount of water and shake or stir it up. This will make the water more alkaline. I have personally used these alkaline drops.
The last option is to add baking soda to your water and stir it up. Really this choice is not a long-term solution and should only be done until you get access to one of the other options, mainly because of the high sodium content if doing it regularly. You can read more about dosage and how to take it here –Baking Soda for Heartburn.
How to Know your Water is Actually Alkaline?
Well any water that has a pH of 8 or above is alkaline and that is exactly what you want to aim for. The thing is you won’t know for sure unless you check the pH yourself.
It is quite common even when you buy bottled water that it says it has a pH of 8.0 on the bottle (at source) and when you test it yourself it turns out to be a 7.0 pH. Therefore, you must test it yourself to know for certain.
The best way to test the pH is by using an electronic pH meter like this one. The other option that you may have seen or heard of before is pH strips but simply put these are not accurate enough. That is why I recommend you go for an electronic pH meter instead.
Alkaline Water for Silent Reflux – Conclusion
Overall, I think drinking alkaline water for LPR (silent reflux) can help but you must first be following the other steps to get the best benefit from drinking the alkaline water and this is exactly what I want recommend that you do!
If you need more advice or guidance on alkaline water or anything related to acid reflux consider a private consultation here.